POOLE Council is to remain hung with the Conservative group continuing to form a minority administration.

This follows two days of talks and a motion of confidence in Borough of Poole leader, Cllr Elaine Atkinson, proposed by two members of her own party, which was withdrawn at a full meeting of the council.

Following the decision of Parkstone ward member Cllr Sally Carpenter, to walk across the floor from the Conservative group to join Poole People, the council has 20 Conservatives, 18 Liberal Democrats and 4 Poole People members.

Cllr Atkinson, who continues as leader, said: “The council has operated successfully with no overall control for the last 18 months. Following talks with the other political groups I am pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement which will enable us to move forward at a time of significant financial challenge for the council.”

She said: “We will work together with members of the other political groups for the benefit of the people of Poole.”

Cllr Mike Brooke, leader of the Liberal Democrat group said they would be continuing with their opposition role. “There is no coalition in Poole,” he said.

“There are issues and policies that we can agree on and we can take these forward without any problem at all. Equally there are issues we will need to debate and if at the end of the day we can’t agree on a way forward we will have to see what the balances are as a result of that disagreement.”

John McBride, chief executive said the council’s budget was the main concern, and they were currently £1.3million short of balancing the books. Unprecedentedly the last budget was agreed unanimously.

“We have already discussed how we get as much agreement as possible on the areas that really matter to Poole,” he said.

Poole People leader Cllr Mark Howell said: “”We will try to campaign for a consensus approach to government in Poole and true to persuade both parties that’s the way forward and to have a mixed administration.

“We still say the current administration isn’t showing the vision that’s necessary to take Poole through these times,” he said.